By Kristin Bonham
I was recently at a dinner meeting with some women who lead various ministries. Each person had a “Thankful” focus at their place setting to think about and share with the group. As each of the 8 of us shared, it was amazing to hear the different things we are all thankful for. My question was:
“What is something that has taken a long time to develop that you are thankful for?”
I kept trying to come up with a very meaningful, profound answer. I thought about my children… they take a lot of time to grow! I thought about all the things I’ve experienced in my 46 years… relationships that I’ve had for a long time. My attention kept coming back to one thing: Freedom.
When I truly understood what God had done for me, rescued me from a dead end life and saved me from living in the fear the enemy had convinced me of, I am eternally grateful. I think about the anger and control I was managing in the early years of parenting and I cringe. I was so caught up in defending myself and protecting myself from getting hurt that I was hurting the ones I loved the most.
By God’s grace, I finally got sick and tired of myself and began to understand the enemy’s strategies against me. He had me convinced I needed to manage my people and problems so I wouldn’t experience pain, rejection, discomfort or hurt.
So today, I am most thankful for Freedom. I’m thankful that I don’t have to live like that anymore. I believe what the Word of God says about me is true. I can embrace what Jesus did for me on the cross when he defeated sin and death. I can change. I’m not hopeless! I’m not stuck!
Don’t get the wrong impression that I’ve arrived! The measure of freedom I have found continues to increase as I choose it every day. In the past few months, God has revealed some ways I have been protecting and defending myself. Ugh! As challenging as it is to change, deep down, I don’t want to stay that way.
I am continuing my journey and doing the work of replacing the lies I believe with the truth of God’s Word. The truth is that He is my defender. He is my protector. He knows what I need and is working out His freedom in me as I surrender to Him.
I have some wins! I have some experience that trading the lies for the truth is worth it. I have some friends who have found freedom in areas I’m asking God to bring to me. I don’t want to stay stuck in any way and I hope you don’t either.
“If you stick with this, living out what I tell you, you are my disciples for sure. Then you will experience for yourselves the truth, and the truth will free you.” John 8:31-31
Kristin Bonham is a pastor’s wife and the Women’s Ministry Director at Grace Family Church. She and Chris have been married for 26 years and have three children, a son-in-law, daughter-in-law and grandson Jax. She loves the beach, New York City and traveling with Chris. She collects books and reads some of them. Her favorite part of the week is Sunday lunch with her family and friends around the table.